Tag Archives: Flaxseed

DIY Candida Cleanse

“Marinated Kale Salad-2” by Jules is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut.” 

Many people have a problem with Candida due to poor diet and lifestyle. You could argue that the majority of Americans have a problem with candida, and it’s important to understand the relevant health issues as well as how to properly address it.

Candida is yeast and bacteria that live in our gut. It is what we consider the “bad bacteria.” We also have “good bacteria” in our gut, which promotes a good immune system and healthy digestion. When we have higher amounts of candida than we have good bacteria – a candida overgrowth – it can cause serious health issues.

Some common health problems associated with candida overgrowth are:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Skin rashes and acne
  • Digestive disorders (Crohn’s, IBS, etc)
  • Yeast infections
  • Hormonal imbalances

These are just to name a few…

 

How does someone develop candida overgrowth?

Candida feeds off of sugar and yeast. Eating foods high in refined sugars, high in carbs, and processed foods all contribute to candida overgrowth. Not eating enough foods that contain good bacteria also contributes to the problem. Taking antibiotics, birth control pills, and steroids all create an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.

 

How can I tell if I have a candida problem?

If you’ve eaten a conventional American diet throughout your life, you likely have a problem with candida. However, there are a couple of other clear indicators. If you have a white film on your tongue in the morning, this is often an indicator of candida overgrowth. Nail fungus can also be a sign of candida. You can conduct a “spit test.” Fill half of a glass with room temperature water. First thing in the morning, spit a dime-size amount of saliva into the glass. It should float at the top. Check it several minutes later. If the spit sinks, starts to form strings hanging from it, or you see a cloudy residue at the bottom, it indicates candida.

 

How do I get rid of candida overgrowth?

Doing a candida cleanse can help kill off the bad bacteria and help rebuild healthy bacteria in your gut.

 

There are two steps to a candida cleanse:

  1. Kill off the candida
  2. Add good bacteria

 

Killing off the candida:

  • Eliminate foods that feed the candida: 
    • Eliminate anything with sugar. No artificial sweeteners either. 
    • Avoid natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, agave). Stevia is ok.
    • Eliminate foods with yeast (bread, crackers, pasta, etc).
    • Avoid fruit (berries other than strawberries and apples are ok in small amounts).
    • Avoid starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, other root vegetables, etc).
    • No alcohol.
    • Avoid dairy.
    • No processed food.
    • Take supplements that kill bacteria, yeast, and fungus at breakfast and lunch (garlic, oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract). Candida can become immune to a supplement, so it is best to take one for 4-5 days and then switch to a different one. You can rotate with a couple different supplements.

 

Adding healthy bacteria:

  • Eat plenty of fermented, cultured foods that contain natural probiotics (kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables).
  • Drink apple cider vinegar (I drink it as a “shot” – a tablespoon of vinegar in a shot glass then diluted with water).
  • Add unrefined coconut oil to tea or smoothies (it has anti-fungal properties).
  • Gluten-free grains in small amounts may be alright (brown rice, quinoa, oats). Listen to your body.
  • Eat lots of cooked vegetables (especially dark green veggies). Cooked veggies are easier to digest.
  • Eat lots of protein (chicken, turkey, fish, grass-fed beef, eggs, etc). Make sure they are free of antibiotics and hormones.
  • Take a probiotic with your dinner (raw, refrigerated is best). 
  • Take an L-Glutamine supplement to help heal the lining of your intestines. 
  • Get plenty of fiber to help clean out your colon. Eat ground flaxseed, ground chia seeds, or make chia pudding.

 

Follow this diet and supplement routine for at least two weeks. You may need to go longer if your candida overgrowth is particularly bad. You can slowly start to introduce starchy vegetables and fruits into your diet, and gradually cut back on the antibacterial/anti-fungal supplements. Keep sugar, high-carb, and processed foods out of your diet altogether to prevent candida regrowth. Make eating probiotic foods and drinks a part of your regular diet as well.

 

Die-off:

It is common to experience “die-off” symptoms while doing a cleanse, because of all the toxins flushing from your body. You may feel tired, have a skin breakout, headache, or need to use the bathroom more frequently. However, if you are someone who has not been eating very healthy, I recommend changing your diet to more whole foods 2-4 weeks prior to starting the cleanse. The good news is that the die-off symptom are temporary and usually last 3-5 days. You will then start to feel much better as your body regains balance.

 

The first time I did a candida cleanse was about seven years ago. It was a rough experience. Looking back, I did not approach the cleanse properly. I went from eating a high-processed, high-sugar diet to – wham! – complete candida cleanse. I think it was too much for my body to handle all at once. I broke out in acne all over my face and felt really sick. I had intense sugar cravings, and really struggled to stick to the diet. After having made some healthy lifestyle changes over the past several years, I have found the cleanse to be much more doable, and the die-off symptoms are more minor. It’s a good idea to do a cleanse once or twice per year, even if it is only for a week to keep candida at bay.

Homemade Flaxseed Hair Gel for Perfect Curls

photo

The is a post for my fellow curlies! Do you want well-defined, frizz-free curls that will make others ask you with surprise, “Is that your natural curl?” Since I have been using my homemade hair gel recipe, I am asked that question all the time. This recipe is very easy to make, and gives me my best curls yet – even when compared to store-bought gels (and believe me, I’ve tried MANY). There are several variations of this recipe available on the internet. Here is what has worked for me:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds
  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of magnesium oil (optional, for curl enhancement)
  • Fine mesh wire strainer
  • Glass container

Directions:

Place water and flax seeds in a saucepan and set stovetop to medium-high. When the water starts to bubble, turn the heat down to a simmer, stirring the seeds occasionally. The water will start to become white and frothy with the consistency of an egg-white. The longer you cook the seeds, the thicker the gel will be. I usually let it simmer for about ten minutes.

Pour the water and flax seeds through the mesh strainer, into your container. It may take some time to strain if the gel is thick. While the gel is still hot, pour in the magnesium oil and mix with an electric mixer or frother. The consistency of the gel will be “goopy” or “snotty” – like Nickelodeon slime! Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Here is how I use it:

I take globs of gel and finger-comb it through my sopping wet hair. Then I comb my hair upside-down for better volume and distribution of the gel. While my head is still upside-down, I scrunch in a little bit (nickel-size amount) of organic hair gel for some extra hold like Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. I plop my hair in an old t-shirt for about 15 minutes. I diffuse upside-down until it it 80% dry. I use jaw clips to lift my hair at the roots for volume until my hair is completely dry. Then I shake my hair, fluff at the roots, and scrunch out any “crunch” left in my hair. 


What I love about this gel is how it clumps curls, and gives superb definition! It it also really affordable and free of toxins. The gel is very light, so it will not weigh down your curls. Some curlies can use this without another gel over it, especially if they already have tight curls. I need a little extra hold, so using another gel in conjunction with my flaxseed gel works well for me.

I like to use magnesium oil in this recipe for extra curl enhancement. I previously used store-bought gel with magnesium sulphate (a.k.a epsom salt). I found that it really enhanced my curls (like after a day at the beach). However, by the end of the day, my hair would feel and look brittle. As we know, salt can be very drying. Thankfully, I discovered magnesium oil (which is actually magnesium chloride). It makes my curls really spring up, but is much less drying than magnesium sulphate. Win!

I also love using this gel on second-day, dry hair. It smoothes any frizz and re-clumps my curls. The only downside to using this gel is that it needs to be kept in the fridge unless you plan to add a preservative (like vitamin e), therefore it is not as convenient for travel. However, the results far out way any inconvenience!

You can add other ingredients to customize this gel to meet your hair needs such as essential oils, shea butter, or your favorite conditioner.

Have you tried flaxseed hair gel? What works for your curls?

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